Disability in the UK is catered under the Equality Act 2010 and the United Nations (UN) Convention on disability rights in order to help to enforce, protect and promote rights of disabled people. The UK government has a provision of issuing Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) which is a type of financial assistance used to help with adapting the home for disabled people. Some types of DFG are mandatory and are covered by legislation set out in the Housing Grants, Regeneration and Construction Act 1996.
The person is qualified as disabled if:
- Their hearing, sight or speech is substantially impaired.
- They have a mental disorder or impairment, including learning disability of any kind.
- They are permanently and substantially physically disabled by illness, injury or congenital deformity.
- Children also included in the above criteria.
Not just on an individual level, but at the level of social services and housing services, certain priority guidelines are mandatory to be followed, for providing independent mobility and living to people with disability.
Priority Guidelines for Social Services and Housing
Priority 1 guidelines are required when
- a) The disable persons are at a very high risk and cannot remain at home safely.
- b) The carer for disabled is at risk.
- c) A person has no access to essential facilities like toilet, sleeping facilities, access to property
- d) The disabled person cannot be discharged from the hospital safely.
The situations such as person unable to be transferred without suitable equipment and/or adaptation are handled by providing free mobility scooters or wheelchairs.
A great cause of discomfort is in using the bath and toilets facilities. The walk-in showers and baths, frame for support near the toilet, grab rails, etc. can help in easing the concerns. Click here to see what options are available in walk-in baths and showers range.
Priority 2 includes the situations which are putting significant pressure on the disabled person, family or carers. For example, the disabled single parent is unable to prepare meals for self and family without alterations to the kitchen, so there is a significant risk of losing a role in the family or he/she has a terminal illness and his deteriorating health is restricting him to access the property. In these situations, the provisions are made to provide every possible house renovation aide.
When there is no immediate threat to health and safety, but the intervention is needed to maintain or provide a reasonable level of independence, priority 3 guidelines are used. For example, the person has a progressive neurological condition and is helped by formal or informal carer with washing, etc. He/she could be independent with accessible facilities in place.
Sometimes, the disabled person is able to remain independent and can manage most of the daily living activities but there is a difficulty using existing/alternative methods of work like wheelchair user lives with the able-bodied spouse, needs adaptations to cupboards in the kitchen. They are not at all urgent but are likely that higher priority needs will arise in the longer term.
space in the home.
What adaptations are covered by DFG
- Fitting stair-lifts and hoists for multi-storey homes, to ensure that a person with disabilities can use both floors in their home.
- Bathroom adaptations such as grab rails, raised toilet seats, walk-in baths
- Ramps and handrails, inside and out of the home.
- Making changes to kitchens to help disable people cook independently.
- Improving or providing a heating system in the home
Who can apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant / DDFIA?
- A homeowner
- A tenant renting from a private landlord
- A resident of a park home
- Living on a houseboat
Do you have to pay anything towards the cost of the Adaptation?
There is a financial assessment done for everyone who applies for the Disabled Facilities Grant. This helps in assessing how much (if anything), the applicant needs to pay towards the cost of adaptation works.
There is no financial assessment for a child with disabilities and the Council will pay for any adaptation works which are considered needed.
The legal authorities are trying hard to provide all comfortable means to deserving disabled people. Though there are some challenges in reaching out to the deserving candidates in the presence of fraudulent claims.